Work has begun on an extra 3.9km pipeline at Red Cliffs (VIC) as part of the Sunraysia Modernisation Project (SMP).

Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville, has turned the first section of turf to signal the beginning of the works.

The expansion of the SMP will double the length of pipe being built in the area and see more than 90 per cent of the district’s irrigators receiving water from the project.

An additional 905 hectares of the district will receive the upgraded pipeline supply through the SMP and the proportion of irrigators benefitting from it will increase from about 70 per cent to above 90 per cent.

Ms Neville said even with the additional pipeline at Red Cliffs, the SMP was still on track to be meet its original deadline of August, 2016.

The extra pipeline is the third expansion of the SMP following additional work carried out at Mildura and Merbein.

Overall the SMP is replacing 21km of main open channel with pipeline, including 5km through urban areas

It’s also upgrading key irrigation pump stations, 2000 irrigation meters and installing 2400 domestic and stock meters, as well as installing automated water delivery processes to improve the efficiency of the remaining open channels.

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